For Alan Bryant and Family

For Alan Bryant and Family

From Ann Bryant

This fund will support Dad as he endures Stage IV of a rare cancer. We need to pay down medical debts and have an expense fund for future trips to medical appointments. The long haul is up ahead. Thanks for your help.

Support this campaign

Subscribe to follow campaign updates!

Recent Updates

Update #2

3 months ago

On Tuesday, October 29, Dad and I went down for some scans, the best ice machine in all of Boston, and some consultations in the afternoon with his doctors. [If you want to see this post with clickable information links, please copy and paste this to your browser: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/alanbryant21/journal]

Did you know that they analyze and interpret his scans in the short time between when they're done in the morning and when he sees them a few hours later? Oftentimes, we do get a little update within a week of the scans because there's a more complete assessment of them, which is why I don't update right away after the appointments.

Another reason I don't update right away is that it is a VERY long and exhausting day. Dad and I have a good time for the most part, I have to admit, and a lot of the crew greeting us at check-in desks is starting to recognize us, which is a soul salve to feel familiar with the great humans who work at Dana Farber and Brigham and Womens'. We go from our arrival at 7 a.m. for his first appointment until his last one ends at about 3-4 p.m., though, and we start our drive home to Bangor, which puts us home, after traffic, at about 10 p.m.

I know as I look around at these rooms full of people, waiting for CT or MRI scans or consultations with doctors, that some of them are going to walk out with data confirming a death sentence, or maybe data revealing that a treatment finally worked. Everyone comes with someone, and you can't help but wonder which one is at the center of it, though you know both of them are affected. For me, a day at the hospitals is tiring in multiple ways and special in others. I need time to digest all of this information myself before I can communicate it effectively. I sure do appreciate your patience, and if you weren't feeling patient and were indeed anxious or even agitated, I hope my sharing what it feels like to spend a day in waiting rooms helps develop an understanding.

The Results

Dad's spinal and liver radiation treatments seem to have worked extremely well. Dad's affected vertabrae have returned to a state (not growing *and* apparently, in the scans, gone) that most likely will allow him, for example, to play golf next year without concern for the twist of the spine to be a problem. Dad will not have his spine scanned next time, we're moving to every six months for that. The lung radiation worked well enough—the area that was treated has not gotten bigger, and those tumors were fairly small in the first place. A couple were categorized as being simply lymph nodes experiencing inflammation. We'll know more about those later—Dr. Mak is away for paternity leave. Right now, it's stable, as is the liver and there are no new lesions in his gut, though they seemed to be expecting there would be.

The news is that Dad has a new, very small and slow-growing tumor in his left lung, quite near the front side of it. It was not present in the last scan three months ago. It is small (1.3cm) and slow-growing (comparatively to other tumors in other patients, according to Dad's doctors). At this point, Dad's general oncologist is suggesting that we move to a whole-body treatment. We agree.

The Options

It's very important to have perspective here. There weren't any options 5 years ago. We were told and we accepted that if Dad hit stage IV we'd be looking at palliative options only, and that treatment options were not possible due to the chromophobic attributes making it so that neither chemotherapy or radiation, both whole-body approaches, would be effective.

Since then newly developed SBRT therapies, which were administered because he was "lucky" to have tumor growth in such a way that discreet areas could be targeted, made it possible for Dad to receive treatment that used to be impossible. The choice to focus rather than to go broad with a full-body treatment meant waiting for a spot to appear and attacking it. Kind of like Whac-a-mole.

We're making the final decisions about one of three full-body options recommended, but immunotherapy has been moderately effective in treating chromophobic renal cell carcinoma. There are side effects, which are similar to symptoms people have with autoimmune diseases, because the drugs home the patient's own immune system to fight the cancer. It's a very simplified explanation but there you go.

Timing

The therapy is delivered via infusion. For renal cell carcinoma, the cocktail of nivolumab and ipilimumab is commonly administered, but an FDA clinical trial lead by Dad's own oncologist, Dr. McGregor, starts soon after the New Year that incorporates a third drug, cabozantinib, a type of chemotherapy. We'll have some documentation about the purpose of adding the third drug soon—but it's basically going to tell us that this chorus of drugs points the immune system at the cancer to kill it.

Every three weeks for four days during the weeks he'll need to be down there, so Dad will need to stay in Boston for infusion appointments. We'll have more news on that later.

When you hear the word "trial," your ears should perk up. It's an experiment. Normally one isn't able to know if the patient will receive a placebo or the actual drugs, BUT in this case there are no patients receiving placebo.

Dad also gets to be a part of something that will lend to the body of knowledge about this cancer so maybe, someday, there is a cure.

PLEASE SHARE THIS FUNDRAISING SITE
YES BUT HOW?
Copy the links below and email them in the body of an email to someone you think should know the news and who wants to help. I continue to try to share it with the limited contacts I have, but that's a short list.

Copy this:
https://fundly.com/for-alan-bryant-and-family
and paste it into an email. It's this fundraiser.

Copy this email address:
frompinetopalm@gmail.com
and paste it into an email to share if you want to pass my information on to someone who wants to help but doesn't know how. I can guide them through it.

The New Year approaches, as does a new deductible. Dad's paying his health insurance out-of-pocket and we've made great strides with the medical bills that were outstanding thanks to the support so far. THANK YOU.

More Info

Dad's Chromophobic Renal Cell Carcinoma, a very rare type of cancer, is now in Stage IV after having spread to his spine, liver, and lungs. We are using this Fundly and this Caring Bridge site to keep family and friends updated and we appreciate your support.

Short summary: Dad's cancer status, as of summer 2018, was upgraded to Stage IV after his kidney removal 6 years ago and clean scans up until now. A lesion made of cells most likely related to his Chromophobic Renal Cell Carcinoma was found in his spine after he had a scan in Summer 2018 to investigate unrelated pain. It was a very early detection of it, and there have been short-course, high-dose radiation treatments to address it. Another lesion was found in his liver in early 2019, small lesions were detected in his lungs in spring 2019, and radiation was administered for those as well. There will be continuing scans to watch how successful the treatments have been; those scans happen in both Boston at Dana Farber and at Brigham and Women's. 

Longer version: Check out the Caring Bridge site for details on the treatments he's had so far.

This is, truthfully, a tipping point, and the hard part is around the corner. Our options are to slow the cancer when we find it and to ensure Dad's quality of life. Time is short. 

Heads up, hearts out. 

Campaign Wall

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or

Help Ann raise $30,000 by making a donation.

Ann Bryant posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #2

On Tuesday, October 29, Dad and I went down for some scans, the best ice machine in all of Boston, and some consultations in the afternoon with his doctors. [If you want to see this post with clickable information links, please copy and paste this to your browser: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/alanbryant21/journal]

Did you know that they analyze and interpret his scans in the short time between when they're done in the morning and when he sees them a few hours later? Oftentimes, we do get a little update within a week of the scans because there's a more complete assessment of them, which is why I don't update right away after the appointments.

Another reason I don't update right away is that it is a VERY long and exhausting day. Dad and I have a good time for the most part, I have to admit, and a lot of the crew greeting us at check-in desks is starting to recognize us, which is a soul salve to feel familiar with the great humans who work at Dana Farber and Brigham and Womens'. We go from our arrival at 7 a.m. for his first appointment until his last one ends at about 3-4 p.m., though, and we start our drive home to Bangor, which puts us home, after traffic, at about 10 p.m.

I know as I look around at these rooms full of people, waiting for CT or MRI scans or consultations with doctors, that some of them are going to walk out with data confirming a death sentence, or maybe data revealing that a treatment finally worked. Everyone comes with someone, and you can't help but wonder which one is at the center of it, though you know both of them are affected. For me, a day at the hospitals is tiring in multiple ways and special in others. I need time to digest all of this information myself before I can communicate it effectively. I sure do appreciate your patience, and if you weren't feeling patient and were indeed anxious or even agitated, I hope my sharing what it feels like to spend a day in waiting rooms helps develop an understanding.

The Results

Dad's spinal and liver radiation treatments seem to have worked extremely well. Dad's affected vertabrae have returned to a state (not growing *and* apparently, in the scans, gone) that most likely will allow him, for example, to play golf next year without concern for the twist of the spine to be a problem. Dad will not have his spine scanned next time, we're moving to every six months for that. The lung radiation worked well enough—the area that was treated has not gotten bigger, and those tumors were fairly small in the first place. A couple were categorized as being simply lymph nodes experiencing inflammation. We'll know more about those later—Dr. Mak is away for paternity leave. Right now, it's stable, as is the liver and there are no new lesions in his gut, though they seemed to be expecting there would be.

The news is that Dad has a new, very small and slow-growing tumor in his left lung, quite near the front side of it. It was not present in the last scan three months ago. It is small (1.3cm) and slow-growing (comparatively to other tumors in other patients, according to Dad's doctors). At this point, Dad's general oncologist is suggesting that we move to a whole-body treatment. We agree.

The Options

It's very important to have perspective here. There weren't any options 5 years ago. We were told and we accepted that if Dad hit stage IV we'd be looking at palliative options only, and that treatment options were not possible due to the chromophobic attributes making it so that neither chemotherapy or radiation, both whole-body approaches, would be effective.

Since then newly developed SBRT therapies, which were administered because he was "lucky" to have tumor growth in such a way that discreet areas could be targeted, made it possible for Dad to receive treatment that used to be impossible. The choice to focus rather than to go broad with a full-body treatment meant waiting for a spot to appear and attacking it. Kind of like Whac-a-mole.

We're making the final decisions about one of three full-body options recommended, but immunotherapy has been moderately effective in treating chromophobic renal cell carcinoma. There are side effects, which are similar to symptoms people have with autoimmune diseases, because the drugs home the patient's own immune system to fight the cancer. It's a very simplified explanation but there you go.

Timing

The therapy is delivered via infusion. For renal cell carcinoma, the cocktail of nivolumab and ipilimumab is commonly administered, but an FDA clinical trial lead by Dad's own oncologist, Dr. McGregor, starts soon after the New Year that incorporates a third drug, cabozantinib, a type of chemotherapy. We'll have some documentation about the purpose of adding the third drug soon—but it's basically going to tell us that this chorus of drugs points the immune system at the cancer to kill it.

Every three weeks for four days during the weeks he'll need to be down there, so Dad will need to stay in Boston for infusion appointments. We'll have more news on that later.

When you hear the word "trial," your ears should perk up. It's an experiment. Normally one isn't able to know if the patient will receive a placebo or the actual drugs, BUT in this case there are no patients receiving placebo.

Dad also gets to be a part of something that will lend to the body of knowledge about this cancer so maybe, someday, there is a cure.

PLEASE SHARE THIS FUNDRAISING SITE
YES BUT HOW?
Copy the links below and email them in the body of an email to someone you think should know the news and who wants to help. I continue to try to share it with the limited contacts I have, but that's a short list.

Copy this:
https://fundly.com/for-alan-bryant-and-family
and paste it into an email. It's this fundraiser.

Copy this email address:
frompinetopalm@gmail.com
and paste it into an email to share if you want to pass my information on to someone who wants to help but doesn't know how. I can guide them through it.

The New Year approaches, as does a new deductible. Dad's paying his health insurance out-of-pocket and we've made great strides with the medical bills that were outstanding thanks to the support so far. THANK YOU.

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or

Ann Bryant posted a new update:
9 months ago

Update #1

Here's the latest about Dad! We went for some appointments and a consultation with a new radiation oncologist last week. https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/alanbryant21/journal

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or